Current Programme

The winter 2022-23 program for Confabulations launches with an artist-led event exploring virality and care(lessness).

“Viral With”

Wednesday 19th October 2022, 6pm to 7.30pm BST / 1pm to 2.30pm EDT. Online (Zoom): booking via Eventbrite.

Two papers and a conversation: Dr Zoë Mendelson (Head of Painting & Printmaking, The Glasgow School of Art), The Viral and the Expanded Field and Marita Fraser (Lecturer, MLitt Fine Art Practice, The Glasgow School of Art), Carelessness as a Method for Care.


Four events in the winter 2022-23 program focus on entanglements of art, psychiatry, and therapy, in their histories, practices and institutions. Running from November to February, these bring together work on the space, experience, and spectacle of the asylum; art historical, curatorial, and creative engagements with art produced in psychiatric contexts; fabulations from mental health archives; collective listening to voices within the mental health system; and critical perspectives on the uses, training, and histories of art therapy. Throughout the series attention is placed on both deconstructing mechanisms of institutionalizing, pathologizing and othering, and exploring ways of recovering voices and foregrounding forms of agency and resistance.

In/From the Asylum

Wednesday 16th November 2022, 11.00 to 12.30 EST / 16.00 to 17.30 GMT. Online (Zoom), booking via Eventbrite

Focussing on the late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century asylum, this event brings together presentations by Leslie Topp, Anna Jamieson and Simone Schmidt (performing as fictional ethnomusicologist Simone Carver) to explore the architecture and space of the confining institution, the management and spectacle of those incarcerated and socially othered, and how, through creative practice with asylum archives, their voices might be heard.


Art and Psychiatric Spaces

Wednesday 7th December 2022, 14:00-15:30 EST / 19:00 – 20:30 GMT / 20:00 – 21:30 CET. Online (Zoom), booking via Eventbrite

This event explores ways of engaging with art made by artist-patients in psychiatric contexts, through art historical, curatorial, and creative writing work. Each dealing with a distinctive context, speakers Katrin Luchsinger, Rose Ruane and Kaira M. Cabañas refigure relationships between art and psychiatry, working with objects, collections and practices in ways that expose discrimination in diagnosis, that open up ways of considering individual lived experiences of illness, and that rethink or disrupt dominant ways of delineating ‘art.’


Critical Perspectives on Art Therapy 

Wednesday 18 January 2023 at 18:00 to 19:30 GMT / 13:00 to 14:30 EST / 10:00 to 11:30 PST. Online (Zoom), booking via Eventbrite

Art therapy is a field that both sits uneasily within histories of art and is largely a conspicuous absence within critical medical humanities. Comprising three papers and a conversation with  Leah GipsonSuzanne Hudson and Elizabeth Otto, this event engages in historicizing and analyzing the practices and processes of art therapy, critically probing the early development, professionalization, underpinnings, and assumptions of the field.


Institutional violence in mental health: collective listening as practice and protest

Wednesday 1st February 2023 at 16.00 to 17.30 GMT / 11am–12:30pm EST. Online (Zoom): booking via Eventbrite.

Join artist, writer and cultural producer Eve Loren for a collective listening workshop inviting creative responses to stories of institutional violence in mental health.


The Winter / Spring programme concludes with two curated events:

Stomache Ache

Late February or early March 2023; date to be confirmed. Online (Zoom).

Curated by Vanessa Bartlett. Full details and booking link to follow.


Lying In:Bed

Wednesday 29 March 2023, 4–6pm GMT/5–7pm CET. Online (Zoom).

A collaborative exploration around the bed as space of negotiation involving two talks and a film contribution based on a performative art project. Curated by Angela Alves (Berlin), Dr Monika Ankele (Vienna), and Prof. Dr Céline Kaiser (Ottersberg). Booking link to follow.

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